Department store chain J.C. Penney Co. Inc. raised its first-quarter earnings outlook after sales climbed in March.
The retailer says Thursday that it expects to earn between 20 cents and 24 cents per share for the three-month period. That's up from its previous estimate of a profit between 16 cents and 20 cents per share.
J.C. Penney forecast sales to climb about 2 percent during the quarter. That compares with its previous estimate of "flat to slightly positive" sales.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect J.C. Penney to earn 21 cents per share with revenue of $3.90 billion -- a less than 1 percent increase.
During the same period last year, J.C. Penney earned 11 cents per share with revenue of $3.88 billion.